Venezuela: A Country Without Government

January 8, 2012

I was reading Carlos Blanco’s Tiempo de Palabra in El Universal this morning and agreed with his concept that Venezuela has no Government by now. For those that don’t speak Spanish, here is the main paragraph:

“There is not even a Government. If you look carefully, Venezuela is a country without government. There are several reasons for this curious event. One reason is that Chavez stripped the act of governing of its administrative connotation. This dimension means setting goals and objectives, budget, compliance assessment and other nuisances which have little to do with being heroic, in which there are no Chimborazos or Negro Primeros, but that shape key aspects of the act of governing. Instead of administration, there is a televised speech, and that is the main instrument of government: the government is what Chavez says, in a decade we have seen that it is a deceitful rhetoric,  but capable of shaping a story, and in recent months it has added the paroxysm, which is a product of the visceral ailments that afflict them.”

No sooner had I read this, which has a lot to do with Daniel video posts (One and Two) on how Chavez has turned the country  into one of beggars, when confirmation of Carlos Blanco’s accurate description became quite pertinent. And reamarkably, this conformation came from none other than Hugo Chavez himself.

Chavez had not held his Sunday program Alo Presidente since April of last year and only eight programs were held at all year in 2011, a reflection that his ailments began much earlier than we have been told. But worried about his popularity, Chavez decided to start them again and hold them as long as his illness allows him. Except that it did not start well today. Despite millions spent in Telesur and VTV, in buying equipment, training personnel to promote the revolution, the program had technical difficulties and the images and the voice were intermittent at the beginning and  and Hugo Chavez was not happy and his own voice came through quite clearly in his criticism of his Government, with Chavez thinking he was off the air:

Chavez: “A begining with lots of accidents for Alo Presidente. They don’t plan their “vaina” (shit?) well. Andres goes one way, Felicia is going another way, I don’t have a General Staff..”

If something as simple as TV broadcast has problems, imagine a complex project.

And when the program got off the ground, it was exactly what Blanco described: Chavez claiming the Oil Belt would create 300,000 jobs this year alone, that production will go to 3.5 million barrels a day, saying he will create a Mision “Knowledge” and “Work” that will create three million jobs in seven years and asking why should he be responsible for the crime problem”

None of this will come to fruition. In six months, if he is around, Chavez will not mention oil production or jobs, or will simply say the goals were met, even if he and everyone knows that it is all lies. After all, not one additional barrel of oil has yet to be produced from any of the dozens of announcements made by Chavez since he became President thirteen years ago. And you would think that with the money generated by the increase in oil prices since then, that would have been the easiest accomplishment.

But Chavez has destroyed the structure of Government. And any time someone has shown ability he has either moved it to another position, either thinking that the person was becoming powerful or popular or in his belief that an expert in one area will easily transfer his abilities to any other one.

So we live in an anarchists’ dream, a State with no structure. A State led by media appearances, empty words of goals and accomplishments. However, it is also an insatiable State, and here the anarchists dream ends, fed by ever rising oil prices. In 2011, the Venezuelan oil basket was up by 39.5%, postponing any serious adjustment of the economy and together with the irresponsible fiscal spending, allowing the Government to cover up and hide, the terrible effect of a dysfunctional and essentially non-exiting Government.

35 Responses to “Venezuela: A Country Without Government”

  1. CharlesC Says:

    Pérez también recalcó que Venezuela no saca ningún tipo de beneficios de los acuerdos con Irán. “Aquí realmente tenemos empresarios y constructores importantes que viven aquí en la región y pueden hacer esas viviendas y esos carros”. “Chávez lo que está haciendo es tapar una política ideológica con unas supuestas relaciones comerciales”
    Best quotation ever from Pablo Perez !!!!!

  2. CharlesC Says:

    “Hugo Chávez está agonizando politicamente. Le está vendiendo el país a los Chinos, ha perdido toda credibilidad internacional, se encuentra mentalmente enfermo y acosado por las deserciones y enfrentamientos dentro de su grupo de forajidos. Hugo Chávez, se arrima a las tablas, como toro herido de muerte y tira algunas cornadas postreras. El desconocimiento arbitrario de nuestros compromisos internacionales es una de ellas. La designación de Henry Rangel Silva, indiciado de colaborar con las FARC, es probablemente el insulto final para los venezolanos.

    La progresiva desaparición de Hugo Chávez de nuestra escena política tiene mucho más que ver con sus torpezas que con los esfuerzos de la sociedad venezolana. Esa desaparición no absolverá a nuestra sociedad de su cobardía, mediocridad y horrorosa indiferencia.”
    incredible quotation from Gustavo Coronel today.

  3. CharlesC Says:

    Random thoughts tonight: I guess I am getting old, I spend most of my time
    studying, reflecting upon many good things of the past, and not much at all
    thnking, expecting, hoping for happy things, better things in the future.
    I don’t see great art being produced, nor great music, nor great characters
    but, they are there in the past. I have studied and admired them from childhood
    and as a child I was an eternally optimistic person.
    As albionboy said above “Venezuela is running out of time”
    Look at the plans for 4-February, 2012. This is just 25 days away…

    • captainccs Says:

      >>>Look at the plans for 4-February, 2012. This is just 25 days away…

      2 de diciembre (1952)
      23 de enero (1958)
      4 de febrero (1992)

      The victors write the history books.

    • firepigette Says:

      Charles, You are in good company.There a quite a few real thinkers who have said many times that the human race is falling into a retro grade direction.If one thinks about it a bit, due to pampering, widespread propaganda, an absence of personal struggle, medical miracles , etc etc, this is only the logical result.

  4. loroferoz Says:

    “So we live in an anarchists’ dream, a State with no structure.”

    I take issue with this. An important part of anarchy (for real) is giving a negative answer to robbers and interlopers pretending to help themselves to a person’s property or rights. Depending on the severity of the case, from plain ignoring them, to appropriate and final response with “legally” available tools of self defense.

    Venezuela is anarchic only in that government officials decide arbitrarily what the law might be, how to enforce it, when they decide to enforce it just because. Where the government is a monopolist of an amazing number of things, and doesn’t perform at all (what we call “ni lava ni presta la batea”). Where the government intrudes in the most onerous, ineffective time and money wasting way possible in everyday affairs. Where the worst offenders and violators of others’ rights get scot-free while people minding their own business and not hurting anyone are harassed.

    Venezuela has a government, only that it has been 36 years that it lost any notion of what government might be for, with the illness becoming horribly acute in the last 12 years.

    • CharlesC Says:

      Maybe you have heard of this: To call someone an ostrich (avestru)
      is an expression esx. “don’t be like an ostrich”
      I was told as a child that an ostrich -when it is scared, it sticks it’s head in the sand and hopes nobody will see it and the trouble will go away”
      (Imagine an ostrich with head in the sand- looks funny-like what the heck is that
      thing?) I don’t think they really do that- they just run away when afraid….
      but, it was a popular joking expression- now, I don’t hear it anymore.
      Point is, many Venezuelans are avestru-like…

  5. captainccs Says:

    Maria Corina, el SUBDESARROLLO TOTAL!

    Por aquí llegó un carro con un autoparlante a todo volume diciendo “Soy Maria Corina”, etc. ”

    Que estúpida!!!


  6. moctavio Says:

    Sorry, I amde a mistake, we use 700,000 a day, give away to Cuba about 119,000 and Petrocaribe around 69,000, there may ba an additional 10,000 to Argentina and 430,000 to pay Chinese loans.

    • Daniel Says:

      Moctavio… very ineresting to read your inspirational pecie….Now one wee question… you have the proof?…..I see, you don`t have it….some one who knows some have actually told you all of this…… time pal…blow out of your ass….cos that`s what you looks like U are doing here…..Cherio…..

  7. Albionboy Says:

    Sorry to say it but the average Venezuelan does not equate good governance with his needs, it’s what he can get now, psychologists say a child and an adult are different in their ability to make long term plans and to sacrifice today for the future

    Venezuelans are not willing to forsake the quick fix, missions etc, for sound long term plans that will benefit the next generation, don’t train new doctors, bring them from Cuba.The so-called middle class are just as guilty, public hospitals no good? go to a private one, public schools no good? send them to private schools, don’t solve the problems with government funded schools, leave them for the poor

    That psephology has turned around and bitten them in the as..! and the dog doing the biting is Chavez

    Yes you say, but the US has similar problems, but they can print an import new Americans to solve their problems

    Venezuela is running out of time, half the world took themselves of the yellow brick road in the last century, the so called BRICS, the competition is heating up, even basket case Colombia has gotten its act together

    October is the last chance for the country.

  8. CharlesC Says:

    Yes, there is a nation of beggars. But. also an country of robbers.
    Chavez as Mr. Guerrero says-creates illusions. Chavez and chavistas
    seem to believe their robbing is “their right”…they are correcting
    some injustices of the past by robbing the present and the future?

    • loroferoz Says:

      One thing that irks me no end about Venezuelans nowadays. Everyone is an amateur thief! Doesn’t matter that they don’t need the thing, doesn’t matter that they can well pay it. It’s love of stealing and of being more “vivo” than your neighbor.

  9. captainccs Says:

    ¡Crónica de una muerte anunciada!

    El anuncio fué hecho durante la campaña electoral de 1997. Uno de los aupantes de Chávez, al ser preguntado sobre los planes administrativos del nuevo gobiero comunista, en caso de ser electo, repondió:

    “El gobiero no se trata de administración sino de política.”

    ¡Mas claro no canta un gallo! Lo asombroso es que nadie quiere creer los múltiples anuncios que hacen los chavistas, abiertamente, por radio y televisión. Luego se asombran cuando la muerte anunciada hace acto de presencia.

    Hay que entender que los comunistas y los socialistas, aun los graduados de economía, no tiene el menor interés en dicha materia. Recuerdo claramente la campaña presidencial del ex-guerrillero Teodoro Petkoff cuando usaba el slogan: “Ganacias obcenas del 300%.” Lo entrevistó Marcel Granier y le preguntó: “¿El 300% de que?” Balbuceó Petkoff: “¿Como que de que?” Insiste Granier: “¿300% sobre las ventas? ¿300% sobre el capital? ¿300% sobre los activos? ¿El 300% de que?” A todas estas, Petkoff mas perdido que el hijo de Lindbergh, repitió: “Pués sobre nada. Simplemente ganacias obcenas del 300%.”

    Lo triste del caso es que el pueblo cree entender el mensaje: “Los capitalistas nos están robando.” Mientras reciban sus subsidios, la administración ¿Que carajo importa?

    Y no es nuestro del todo el mal. La URSS quebró. Grecia está quebrada. España, Portugal e Italia están en cola. ¿Cual es el denominador común? El socialismo, el populismo, el comunismo. La falta de administración racional. ¿Hasta cuando?

  10. megaescualidus Says:

    Nothing more (nor less) can be expected from a president (as Miguel has said in the past) who’s only past experience at running something was running a “cantina”, who’s only worry is to last as long as possible in power, and finally, who’s advisers are only worried about pleasing him and, again, maintaining him in power (among them the Cubans, Fidel, that is).

    HC aims at controlling everything himself, and by setting that utopic goal when he or his government truly want to make something happen (far from 100% of the time) chances are they will miss their goal, of the quality of what is produced is very very low (i.e. an Alo Presidente transmission with a lot of technical problems, to name just one example).

    However, the opposition should not forget that one extremely important goal for HC is to win the October 2012 elections. HC will give extra attention and care to, no doubt, a plan to win them, legally or/and illegally. It is simply not in HC’s plan to botch this goal.

    • CharlesC Says:

      Look at the recent visit by Humala from Peru–Chavez announced about Peru oil company will be investing in Faja del Orinoco.
      Not true -clarification from Lima,Peru today printed in el Universal.
      “Chávez announced the future participation of the Petróleos company of Peru (Petroperú) like investor in the Eastern strip of the Orinoco. Roncagliolo clarified that the reached agreements do not imply that Petroperú is going to destine in the short term resources for oil exploration in Venezuela, but said has abierto the possibility that in the future Peru invests. “This implies a will of opening to all the possibilities. Hopefully we could the Peruvian private capitals be associated with Petroperú and invest in the Strip of the Orinoco, that would be very valuable, but I believe that ahora’ is not possible; ‘ , it declared”
      This is just an example of Chavez lying again -and distorting the facts for publicity
      -and he did it right in front of the Peruvian delegation…

      • CharlesC Says:

        “We do not see how it can bring benefits to the Peru, that is not for imitating in anything to Venezuela. This country is for imitating ‘ to us; ‘ , it asserted the industralist. Roncagliolo showed that the visit from president Humala to Venezuela is part of the policy of the government to reinforce the friendship with the countries of the region. Of another side, it denied the speculations of which Humala had met privily in Venezuela with the president of Iran, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, that realises a tour by Latin America”
        Some more information- Looks like Humala will betray Peru even though he swore on the Bible in front of the Peruvian people that he would not…

  11. Albionboy Says:

    When Bob Dole was running against Clinton in 96, his people posed a question to Voters, “Who would you prefer babysitting your 16 year old daughter, Dole or Clinton?” 75% said Bob Dole.
    Clinton’s people responded “who would you prefer to order the toppings on your Pizza, Dole or Clinton?” 90 % Said Clinton.

    The Venezuelan Voters vote for Chavez because they know he will spend money to buy their support as long as he has it, when Oil prices drop so does his support. They don’t think bout the Country only what Chavez can give them, and he is banking on that for October.

    • Chavez is selling illusions, true, he is a very good seller for illusions and, off-course, there millions outside prepared to buy or accept those illusions. It remains me the Marvelous Wizard of Oz, that interesting character from Baum juvenile history from the end of XIX century in USA.
      However, for a very well-known reason, without any good regular fiscal rule -government’s balance always is in deficit, no government disposes the money to pay for every offered dream. Indeed, Chavez has not, and will not have the needed money to fulfill people’s expectations, the ones which
      Chavez himself has created. How much the “illusions” keep the political balance, it is something for which a could not afford an answer.
      Regarding oil price, the empirical world says that 2, or 12, or 17, 04, 36, or 78, or 100 dollars a barrel of oil is nothing if you have to pay for a gargantuan government growth with respect to, say, GDP. At the end, all of socializes government growth, something which happens through inflation and prices….so, if you sell today an illusion, you have tomorrow to sell two, and so on…..

  12. Roy Says:

    That is a very good way of putting it: “There is no government.”

    For the people in the government, it is a feeding frenzy at the public and private troughs. For the people at the bottom, it is an erratic source of handouts.

    For those in the middle, looking for governance in the sense of administrating, maintaining order, adjudicating conflicts, etc., it indeed feels like there is no one steering the ship.

  13. Susan Says:

    Meanwhile, here comes Iran’s visit. Maybe he can take over. He is an inspirational speaker and has lots of missles, or he will share come oil. S

    • Daniel Says:

      Yes! Susan, you are absolutly right….”Here comes Iran`s President to visit…..and you claim that has a lots of missles….so you said…..Now my dear lady….one have to ask one self is this….in case that U didn`t know……How many Missles have USA and Israel?… don`t know do you…..I see…but you are absolutly sure that Irans has got them, in the same manners as Irak had them……..Grow up silly cow, and start reading, it might help u out, but please do not think to much….thinking a lot ,does great deal of damage to your brian…….

  14. There is government in Venezuela, no doubt at all. What we do not have is a regular government emerging from a liberal type democracy with natural checks and balances between parliaments, executive branch with the equilibrium of judiciary since a revolution – as it sounds- is running illegally only enforced by arms imposed over 29 million of Venezuelans.
    What we have indeed is an authoritarian government with no checks and balances, even though it was elected, that is, legal enforced, it is as well delegitimized, no rule of law obeyed by the executive branch. The latter can be observed by massive violations of constitution and laws and particularly with a certain level of institutional violence addresed directly by the President and other components from the executive branch. This branch draws from the type of power exercised by a politburo in communist countries. So, you can call it a hybrid, or whatever.

  15. Kepler Says:

    Actually, Bruni, I am reading Henri Ducoudray Holstein’s account about Bolívar from 1830 and was reading some extracts from a British military (forgot his name) who also met Bolívar. They knew Bolívar and wrote in a completely different way about him from what we know. Some Chavistas who know about them are “trained” to say “oh, they hated him, so they wrote about him like that” without explaining further.

    If half of what they wrote is true, and I believe so, and if we really want to analyze what happened back then a little bit more rationally, we may conclude
    Chávez is nothing but an even worse version of the chaotic, selfish, bloodthirsty, unfocused and very irresponsible caudillos we always had, starting with Simón Bolívar.

    Ducoudray Holstein’s description of Bolivar’s headquarters really reminded me of Chávez talking about the vaina que no funciona and not having an “estado mayor”.

    We have only had bochinche y más bochinche, and military psychopats ruling 95% of our history.

  16. Bruni Says:

    BTW, Chávez is right about the improvisation of his Alo Presidente. I was appaled when I saw the banner with a clear Spanish mistake….

  17. glenn Says:

    Not only does he sound unhappy, he sounds sick. I haven’t had the tolerance to hear his voice for a long time and can really tell the difference.

  18. Bruni Says:

    History will have to answer why was that possible.

  19. Luis Peña Says:

    It is funny to see a man that publicly “manages” the country in Eudomar´s style of “as is it coming, we are going” to protest suffering the lack of planning.

  20. moctavio Says:

    Production is around 2.5-2.6, but we use 600,000

    • megaescualidus Says:

      And, could you please remind me again, how much (besides the 600,000 used internally) is it given away (“regalado”) to the Cubans, Nicaraguans, Chinese, etc., etc.?

  21. Ira Says:

    Miguel, you haven’t posted the figures on this in quite a long time.

    But as of today, what is the more or less accurate number for VZ oil production, as opposed to what they’re claiming?

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